Transportation Security Administration Academy East celebrates its 100,000th graduate

Local Press Release
Friday, September 15, 2023

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Academy East, located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, marked its 100,000th graduate during a commencement ceremony on September 15.  

“TSA Academy East has had an important role in aviation security training since its opening in April 2012,” TSA Chief Learning Officer Kimberly Hutchinson said. “We are immensely proud to recognize this 100,000th graduate milestone as it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team to ready new officers to protect the traveling public.” 

TSA Academy East was established as a learning center of excellence focused on training standardization, improving employee performance and professionalism and developing an organizational culture of high performing counterterrorism professionals. 

The academy’s model has become the benchmark for aviation security training. To date, TSA Academy East has delivered 38 different courses across 4,165 classes, teaching an incredible 100,000 students. The academy has attracted international partners and the U.S. Air Force who send their forces to the academy to attend aviation security training. 

In 2012, the first course TSA Academy East offered was Essentials of Supervising Screening Operations (ESSO) which provided front-line Supervisory Transportation Security Officers (STSOs) with training emphasizing employee integrity, responsibility and performance. Two years later, TSA Academy East broadened it services to include special training to Lead Transportation Security Officers (LTSOs), Security Training Instructors (STIs), Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs), Transportation Security Specialist – Explosives (TSS-Es) and Transportation Security Inspectors (TSIs). 

In January of 2016, TSA Academy East expanded once again with the creation of the TSO Basic Training course. Before the Academy, TSO basic training was conducted at more than 450 individual airports across the country. Moving TSO basic training to FLETC offered the opportunity to consolidate resources and added consistency in training. Among the 100,000 students trained at TSA Academy East, more than 63,000 attended the TSO Basic Training Program. 

In addition to celebrating the latest graduating class, the ceremony also recognized the service of TSA Academy East’s original staff members still supporting the training mission today. That list includes Administrative Officer Virginia Polson, Mission Support Chief Scott Register, Supervisory Training Instructor Gerald Poole, Program Analyst Tracy Fields, Program Analyst Elizabeth Rentz, Program Analyst Elliott Rudolph and Instructors Charles Gaetan, Jimmy Johnson, Mary Bernardoni and Rebecca Lockridge.